While President Trump previously proposed extending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to more than twice the number of beneficiaries originally covered, he now threatens to cancel the program altogether. The threat comes after Congress failed to pass a legislative version of DACA-type protections by the March end date of the program and when talks with Democrats thus far yield nothing tangible for undocumented immigrants.
Events during the Easter weekend news cycle, when the president vocalized his opposition, include reports of a “caravan” of individuals traveling from South America into Mexico. As he pushes for increased security in Mexico to stem the tide of “dangerous” immigration levels into the United States, he tweeted “NO MORE DACA DEAL”. The president also threatened to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“It was unclear whether the president’s tweets represented any change in his immigration policy, or were just the sort of venting he is known to do after reading a newspaper article or seeing a television segment,” a New York Times story reads.
Democrats “had a great chance,” the president said. But while the president historically demonstrates support in extending legal pathways to DACA beneficiaries— Dreamers– he now says the opposition party “blew it.”
Responding to reporter questions before walking into worship services, the president elaborated. “Mexico has got to help us at the border. And a lot of people are coming here because they want to take advantage of DACA.”
In his Twitter stream, the president said Mexico does “very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S.” And Mexican leaders, he said, “must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA.” Concluding the tweet rant, “NEED A WALL!’ he added.
Interestingly, representatives from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Tax Administration Service (SAT) met with Mexican officials in late March. During the meetings, U.S. and Mexican officials entered into new agreements designed to strengthen the relationship between the countries. According to the department’s release, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen addressed the president’s concerns.
“Both sides expressed concerns with migration flows including those caused by the collapse of the Venezuelan economy and its impact in the region. The partners shared their mutual desire to confront transnational criminal organizations and money laundering. Lastly, both sides reiterated their long held respect for the human rights of migrants.”